U of T Engineering researchers are part of research team that received $10 million in Genome Canada grant

An interdisciplinary team of engineering researchers, including U of T professors, has been awarded over $10 million in funding from the Genome Canada Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food systems (CSAFS) Interdisciplinary Challenges Teams (ICT) Grant. The project titled ‘Omics guided technologies for scalable production of cell-cultivated meat’ led by Professor Ravi Selvaganapathy of McMaster University includes the following U of T Engineering researchers as part of the team:

The demand for dietary protein is growing along with the global population. Since intensive beef farming contributes significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere, cell-cultivated meat is emerging as a complementary protein source to meet this increasing demand with potentially less of an environmental impact. However, to reach cost parity with animal-based meat, the culturing process needs to become more efficient and less expensive overall.

This research team will use genomic, proteomic, metabolomic and GE3LS (genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal, and social aspects) approaches to address technical, economic, and social barriers to scaling and commercialization of cell-cultivated meat in Canadian and export markets while minimizing the carbon footprint of production. It will do so by creating a catalogue of cells grown from tiny muscle biopsies of beef cattle to find the cell types best suited for cultivated meat production. This will make cell-cultivated meat nutritious and affordable, with the potential to incorporate agricultural by-products into certain stages of production.

The project will bring academia, industry, government, and NGOs together in a Canadian Cultured Meat Consortium. This collaboration will enable rapid mobilization of new knowledge, resulting in efficient implementation by Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises. This research will also have wider applications in the production of cell-cultivated chicken, fish, and seafood.

For information or if you have any questions about this project, contact Professor Julie Audet at julie.audet@utoronto.ca.